Couple Married 63 Years Die 20 Minutes Apart
This couple couldn't live without each other.
Henry and Jeanette De Lange, a Platte, S.D. couple, who had been married since 1953, died within 20 minutes of each other on July 31.
Jeanette, 87, who had been battling Alzheimer's disease and lived in a nursing home since 2011, passed away at 5:10 p.m.
At 5:30, Henry, 86, who had prostate cancer and endured some recent falls, followed suit.
Prior to his passing, Henry had told his family that he needed to go into a home, so he was placed in the same room as Jeanette.
According to Lee De Lange, one of the couple's five kids, Henry was told Jeanette had passed:
My brother Keith said to my dad, said 'Mom's gone to heaven. You don't have to fight anymore, you can go too if you want.' He was laying in bed. He, for the first time, opened his eyes, looked intently over where Mom was. Closed his eyes back down. Laid back down, died about five or 10 minutes after that."
The nearly simultaneous deaths was moving enough, but the story took a turn for the odd: the clock in the couple's room stopped at 5:30 after Henry died.
While the family mourns the loss of the couple, Lee is trying to put it all in perspective.
"We're calling it a beautiful act of God's providential love and mercy," he said. "You don't pray for it because it seems mean but you couldn't ask for anything more beautiful."